By Keith Brown, DTN Contributing Cotton Analyst
January 26, 2022

The cotton market finished with triple-digit gains Wednesday as the Federal Reserve indicated a rate hike was forthcoming, but as of now the action is unscheduled. This points to the March meeting of the Fed Board of Governors as the likely time for that initial hike. Upon seeing the news, the Dow moved higher, while the U.S. dollar softened.

Thursday morning USDA will release its export sales data. As detailed in Wednesday morning’s comments, traders want to see a steady but strong climb regarding sales and shipments. To that end, current seasonal sales are below last year’s pace, but are above the four-year average.

Of course, the biggest hindrance to the cotton industry is its ability to literally ship bales, but traders remain optimistic about future demand. Additionally, the strong surge in crude oil is seen as a positive fundamental. In fact, some international banks are suggesting $100/barrel oil this year.

Several notable analytical firms are just beginning to post their early new crop acreage total. We know the NCC will issue its membership survey number next month.

However, the London-based IHS Markit Group suggested Wednesday that 2022 acres will be 11.845 million versus last year’s 11.254 million. Of course, it’s never the total acres that impact the markets but the yield on those acres.

Wednesday, March cotton settled at 122.33 cents, up 1.41 cents, July ended at 116.92 cents, plus 1.16 cents, and December finished at 99.37 cents, 0.53 cent higher; estimated volume was 25,851 contracts. (Source: